su·​per·​fi·​ci·​al·​i·​ty | \ ˌsü-pər-ˌfi-shē-ˈa-lə-tē How to pronounce superficiality (audio) \
plural superficialities

Definition of superficiality

1 : the quality or state of being superficial
2 : something superficial

Examples of superficiality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There is a prescient, pitch-perfect satire of the superficiality and platitudinal meaninglessness of modern life. Alison Willmore, Vulture, "The 101 Greatest Endings in Movies History," 22 Feb. 2021 The costumes were part of a performance-art piece about the perils of pleasure-seeking and superficiality, which, again, has been his theme since his earliest mixtapes. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Cynical Fun of The Weeknd’s Halftime Show," 8 Feb. 2021 For them, meeting in a game sidestepped the superficiality that can come with the beginning stages of dating, Rain says. Elizabeth Landau, Wired, "They Found Community, and Then Love, in Online Games," 1 Dec. 2020 The fallout in Wisconsin revealed, beyond the contradictions of law enforcement’s interventions in violence, the superficiality of those alliances—which could apparently collapse under the weight of a few Black Lives Matter signs. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "An Anti-Rape Movement Without Police," 20 Oct. 2020 And in an era of righteous certainty and flamboyant superficiality, what sets this special most against the grain is its commitment to doubt. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Marc Maron and the Comedy of Doubt," 18 Mar. 2020 Nobody is going to criticize you for not taking the mythology of Dracula seriously enough, but there's a wealth of Mexican-American religion and folklore that's being treated with an uncomfortable superficiality here. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Penny Dreadful: City of Angels': TV Review," 24 Apr. 2020 But the show is laying groundwork, and the seeming superficiality is part of a bigger plan. Margaret Lyons, New York Times, "How Do I Fill the ‘Succession’-Size Hole in My Sunday?," 19 Nov. 2019 Can taking it away, ever briefly, correct for our overly visual superficiality? Lisa Bonos, Washington Post, "‘Love Is Blind’ acknowledges that dating is too visual. But it doesn’t offer a real solution.," 3 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'superficiality.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of superficiality

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of superficiality was circa 1530

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Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Superficiality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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Britannica English: Translation of superficiality for Arabic Speakers

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